|Adelie penguins crossing in front of the research icebreaker N.B. Palmer.|
Photo © John Diebold.
To prove that Antarctica still keeps many secrets and is full of surprises, an enormous penguin colony has been discovered by satellite imagery combined with ground and aerial drone surveys.Writing in Scientific Reports,1 Borowicz et al. detected a previously unknown colony of more than 750,000 Adélie penguin-mating pairs on the Danger Islands. That island group is located in a rarely visited area near the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula across from South America. The Danger Islands are on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Colonies on the western side have suffered a decrease in population over the past few decades. These decreases have been attributed to climate change. Historical aerial photos of the Danger Islands show that the population there has been stable over the years. The discovery of a robust population on the eastern side of the peninsula minimizes the overall impact of global warming on the population in the peninsula region.
|Penguins inspecting human, Sulzberger Bay, Marie Byrd Land.|
Photo © B. Luyendyk